Loqtorzi (toripalimab-tpzi) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat a certain type of head and neck cancer. Loqtorzi can cause side effects that range from mild to serious. Examples include nausea, vomiting, and thyroid problems.

Loqtorzi is used in adults to treat nasopharyngeal cancer in certain situations.

The active ingredient in Loqtorzi is toripalimab-tpzi.* (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) The drug is a biologic. It comes as a liquid solution that’s given by intravenous (IV) infusion, which is an injection into a vein that’s given over a period of time.

Loqtorzi may be used on its own or with chemotherapy.

Keep reading to learn about the common, mild, and serious side effects that Loqtorzi can cause. For a general overview of the drug, including details about its uses, see this article.

* The reason “-tpzi” appears at the end of the drug’s name is to show that the drug is distinct from similar medications that may be created in the future.

Some people may experience mild to serious side effects during their Loqtorzi treatment. Examples of the drug’s commonly reported side effects include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Mild side effects have been reported with Loqtorzi. These include:

In most cases, these side effects should be temporary. Some may be easily managed, too. But if you have symptoms that are ongoing or bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Don’t stop taking Loqtorzi unless your doctor recommends it.

Loqtorzi may cause mild side effects other than those listed above. See the drug’s prescribing information for details.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Serious side effects have been reported with Loqtorzi. These include:

If you develop serious side effects while taking Loqtorzi, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Loqtorzi, visit MedWatch.

Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Loqtorzi’s side effects.

How do side effects of Loqtorzi compare with those of Xeloda?

Loqtorzi and capecitabine (Xeloda) are both cancer treatments that may be prescribed for nasopharyngeal cancer. They have some similar side effects and others that differ.

For example, these drugs can cause some of the same mild side effects, such as:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • fatigue
  • a reduced appetite
  • muscle, bone, or joint pain

However, serious side effects of these drugs tend to be different. Loqtorzi is a type of immunotherapy and can cause your immune system to attack healthy tissues in your body. This can cause problems in any part of your body, including your lungs, kidneys, liver, heart, and skin.

Xeloda is a chemotherapy drug that can kill healthy cells as well as cancer cells. This can cause severe problems such as hand-foot syndrome, mouth sores, blood cell problems, and heart problems.

To learn more about how Loqtorzi and Xeloda compare, talk with your doctor. You can also see this article to learn more about Xeloda’s side effects.

Does Loqtorzi cause long-term side effects?

It’s possible. Loqtorzi helps your immune system attack cancer cells but it can also sometimes cause your immune system to attack healthy tissues in your body. This can cause some long-term side effects.

Examples of long-term side effects reported in Loqtorzi’s studies include:

  • pneumonitis*
  • hepatitis
  • hormone problems, such as type 1 diabetes or adrenal gland problems
  • thyroid problems*

These side effects can occur at any time during Loqtorzi treatment or even after stopping treatment.

Talk with your doctor to learn more about possible side effects of Loqtorzi and how long they may last.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Learn more about some of the side effects Loqtorzi may cause.

Pneumonitis

Pneumonitis (lung inflammation) was an uncommon side effect reported in studies of Loqtorzi.

Pneumonitis may cause symptoms such as:

People who’ve had radiation therapy to the chest area may have a higher risk of pneumonitis during Loqtorzi treatment.

What might help

If you have symptoms of pneumonitis during Loqtorzi treatment, see your doctor right away. They may pause your treatment and prescribe a corticosteroid to reduce the inflammation in your lungs. If the problem is severe, your doctor may permanently stop your Loqtorzi treatment.

Thyroid problems

Thyroid problems were a common side effect reported in studies of Loqtorzi. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) was the most common problem reported. Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) were also reported, but these were less common.

Hypothyroidism may cause symptoms such as:

Hyperthyroidism may cause symptoms such as:

What might help

If you have symptoms of thyroid problems during Loqtorzi treatment, talk with your doctor. They may prescribe medication to correct your hormone levels. If the problem is severe, your doctor may pause or permanently stop your Loqtorzi treatment.

An allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Loqtorzi can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Symptoms can be mild to serious and can include:

  • a skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin (usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet)
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to manage your symptoms. Examples include:

  • an oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • a product you apply to your skin, such as hydrocortisone cream

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a mild allergic reaction to Loqtorzi, they’ll decide if you should continue receiving the medication.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Loqtorzi, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

During your Loqtorzi treatment, consider taking notes on any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start taking a new drug or using a combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • how soon you had the side effect after receiving a dose
  • what your symptoms were
  • how your symptoms affected your daily activities
  • what other medications you were taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Keeping notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Loqtorzi affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Below is important information to consider before taking Loqtorzi.

Warnings

Loqtorzi can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is called a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Loqtorzi is a good treatment option for you.

Talk with your doctor about your health history before you start Loqtorzi treatment. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:

Alcohol and Loqtorzi

There are no known interactions between alcohol and Loqtorzi, but alcohol and Loqtorzi can cause some similar side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea. You may be more likely to have these side effects if you drink alcohol during your Loqtorzi treatment.

If you have questions about consuming alcohol during Loqtorzi treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding with Loqtorzi

See below for details about whether it’s safe to receive Loqtorzi while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Pregnancy

Loqtorzi is not safe to receive during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your treatment options.

If you’re able to become pregnant, your doctor may recommend using a form of birth control during your Loqtorzi treatment. They’ll likely recommend that you use it throughout your treatment and for 4 months after your Loqtorzi treatment ends.

Breastfeeding

It’s not safe to receive Loqtorzi while breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment or for 4 months after your last dose. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor about your options.

Like most drugs, Loqtorzi can cause a number of side effects that range from mild to serious. However, most are temporary and go away after a few days to weeks. If you have questions about the side effects that Loqtorzi can cause, talk with your doctor.

Examples of questions to help get you started include:

  • How often do serious side effects occur with Loqtorzi?
  • Am I more likely to have side effects if I combine Loqtorzi with chemotherapy?
  • If I have a serious side effect, will I be able to continue Loqtorzi treatment?

To learn more about Loqtorzi, see this article.

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.